"Elliott v State" is a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling that helps those charged with DUI get favorable disposition of their case. It is important that your attorney be familiar with this case and how to use this decision to help get your DUI reduced to reckless driving.
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Recently finished a jury trial on client's second DUI case. My client had been convicted of DUI within the year on his first DUI case. The State Prosecutor was allowed to bring that fact in as evidence in the second DUI case in hopes of making it easier to get a conviction on the second DUI case. Thanks to a good jury who did their job and did not let the prior conviction influence them on the issue of guilt on the second DUI case. Jury's verdict was NOT GUILTY. Client very happy.
NOT GUILTY verdict in Cherokee County for driver charged with DUI with a breath test score of .130, which is 5 points over the DUI limit of .08. Many people who score over the DUI limit of .08 believe that they should enter a guilty plea since they are over the DUI limit. This case shows how a jury trial can be won when the driver is over the limit. Several facts were in the Defendant's favor. He looked good on the video. No slurred speech. We pointed out that he was talking fine, walking fine, standing fine and not losing his balance. Prior to the pullover, the video did not show failure to maintain lane or other typical DUI driving behavior. He was pulled over for speeding and a seat belt infraction. We used an expert to testify about the officer's improper administration of the Field Sobriety Tests and failure to properly observe my client for the 20 minute period prior to administering the breath test at the jail. We successfully put the officer on trial by pointing out how he did not do his job in the manner required by his training. The prosecutor actually told the jury in her closing arguments that she felt the officer was on trial and not my client. Great win!
Just finished a big case for a driver with Commercial Driver's License, charged with DUI, with a breath test result of 0.21, almost 3 times the DUI per se limit of 0.08. Driver also charged with failure to maintain lane. We pointed out that her right front tire being flat caused her difficulty driving and she did not want to pull over on the side of the road at 3:00 a.m. when she only had less than a mile to get home when the officer saw her.
We filed a motion to suppress evidence arguing that there was no probable cause for the DUI arrest, asserting that the officer did not follow proper protocol for the administration of field sobriety tests, his failure to properly demonstrate the individual tests, as well as not properly evaluating the tests he administered.
Client recited the ABC's perfectly. The officer had only been certified for two months and this DUI encounter was his second one. The judge agreed with our assertions regarding the field sobriety tests, observed that the client recited the ABC's perfectly and ruled that the officer did not have sufficient evidence to justify arresting her for DUI.
Client pled guilty to failure to maintain lane. DUI dismissed. CDL license in good standing. It was all my client could do to refrain from jumping up and down in excitement!
In the News
Recent case law in Georgia makes it easier for people to be arrested for DUI. All you have to do is blow into the portable breath testing device at the pullover. Police frequently lie to drivers and state that the PBT only indicates positive or negative for alcohol, but it actually prints out a number, so the police will be able to tell where you are on the range of alcohol consumed and decide whether or not you are over the limit and should be arrested. They can't use the PBT number in court to prove that you scored at a certain level, but they can use the Intox 5000 breath test results to show you were over the limit.
Georgia's Super Speeder law
The law in Georgia on the Super Speeder tickets went into effect on January 1, 2010. It provides that anyone pleading guilty to the charge of exceeding the speed limit by 75 mph on a two lane road, and 85 mph on any road shall be issued an additional fee by the Department of Driver Services in the amount of $200.00. The Department has 30 days upon receipt of the notice of conviction to issue the additional charge.
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